Review Summary: Another NOFX album but without the usual filler. Is change on the horizon?
NOFX, a band that most people take a stance on very early in their music listening ventures, a band that is enjoyed by many, and loathed by others. With Self-Entitled making NOFX’s 12th album release, many could wonder if the long term punk outfit can keep up the angst fuelled fire many of their earlier albums. The answer is yes.
The instrumental side of this album is nothing hugely impressive, yet it has the ability to pull you in with the pop-ish characteristics and energy that is found throughout. The drums provide some breaks from the strumming patterns, with a notable example being the bouncy fills in ‘I, Fatty’. Unlike many modern albums, the bass is clearly audible on some tracks, yet at other times fades behind the guitar lines.
The focus of this album like most NOFX records is on the vocals. From the extremely catchy ‘Cell Out’ which follows Mike performing his usual narration of a situation, with the focus being on the apparent selling out of NOFX since the early 90’s. A much more morose song is the track ‘I Got One Jealous, Again’ which follows a narration of how Fat Mike’s relationship with his ex-wife decayed and fell apart. It sends a chill through the spine to hear the recount of possessions that Mike was allowed. On a more typical NOFX topic, ‘X-Mas has been X’ed’ comes bursting through after the sadness of the previous track. With the hilarious lyrics about Saint Nicholas dying and the destruction of the religions around it, this song is sure to be an addition to the band’s live set.
This album has nothing outstanding about it, yet it still is an improvement on previous records such as ‘Coaster’. Each of the songs on this album has qualities that make it stand clearly out, be it the catchy punk-esque riffing or the vocal hooks. There are some moments where it fills like the songs have had unnecessary riffs added when the song is better as a short length.
Some interesting little parts that make this album just that bit more interesting is the contrasting statements between ‘My Sycophant Other’ and ‘Cell Out’ with the references to Mike’s ego. In Cell Out, Mike states that his ego is fragile and doesn’t need any damage done to it. On the other hand, in ‘My Sycophant Other’, Mike states that he doesn’t need a bigger ego, and needs to have it flattened more frequently. Another catchy hook is ’72 virgins ‘chorus, with the excellent line of ‘72 virgins can never stop a war, but 100, 000 hookers can beat the marine corp.’
The production on this album is mostly on the same par as most of the 2000’s era releases, such as Coaster and Wolves in Wolves’ Clothes. However whereas those albums lacked the content, this one for the most makes up, and gives a solid, enjoyable release. Nothing new is done, but does anybody expect that of NOFX anymore? What is provided is an album much in the same vein as the ‘Never Trust A Hippy EP’ and has a good enjoyment value.
I Got One Jealous, Again